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Instagram Search App Pixifly is Useful, but Proceed with Caution


If you are wondering what is going on at a particular event or location, a new iOS app Pixifly lets you search Instagram photos according to date, time and exact location, rather than relying on keywords or hashtags.

“Pixifly aggregates these photos to your specifications, giving new perspectives on what was happening on a certain day or what is happening right now,” said Adam Cooper, CEO of Pixifly. “It’s truly fascinating to see the types of photos people upload, especially when it’s those uploaded in the area around you in real-time.”

The app might be useful to journalists covering events in real-time and may be interesting to users who are wondering where to travel, dine or party (with access to photos from 100 feet to three miles away and going back in time up to eight months).

Pixifly also includes an interactive map that drops photos onto it according to location. Still, searching photos according to a home address has a slightly creepy factor. And as users adopt apps that pinpoint their whereabouts, predators follow the signal. According to Pixifly’s privacy policy:

Our Service is about navigating third-party content based on the time and place the content was uploaded, therefore we will use your location information to provide the basic functionality of the Service, such as displaying your location on the Services map when using Pixifly or Third Party Services (defined below). Users viewing this information may use it or disclose it to other individuals or entities outside of our control and without your knowledge. Your location information may be subject to abuse, misuse and monitoring by others, and you share your location at your own risk. If you no longer wish to have your location information shared, you can either contact the Third Party who is displaying your information, or you can turn the location features off at the device level if you no longer wish to have your location information collected from the device.

Note that location provides “the basic functionality of the Service.” So while you can turn off the location feature “if you no longer wish to have your location information collected,” once you do, you are unable to use the app.

This is not to pick on Pixifly, which may well be the most comprehensive way to search Instagram photos. But as location-based offerings continue to permeate our use of social media, it’s important to consider whether you should click “accept” as quickly and easily as you would for terms-of-service agreements.

It’s always best to keep your account private when you decide to share your location, and turn off location services in Settings for apps that are not currently being used.

*image via Facebook

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